A Rejoinder To Barrister Emmanuel Ogebe On The Alledged Federal Government’s Deceit On The Escaped Chibok Girls In The US



The Federal Government’s attention has been drawn to an article maliciously posted on the Internet by Emmanuel Ogebe who has been deceitfully parading himself as the guardian, sponsor and benefactor of the abducted but escaped chibok girls even against the wishes of the girls concerned.

2.We wish to put on record that the press conference held by the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development was from an informed and well researched background which emanated from official sources and interactions with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the parents of some of the abducted but escaped chibok girls that are in the US.

3.The parents of the girls in a meeting held on the 25thMay, 2016 pleaded with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to remove their daughters from Mr. Ogebe’s custody, because he was engaging them in fund raising activities and media interviews, thereby disrupting their academic pursuit.

4.We reliably gathered that when the girls arrived US in September 2014, the Jubilee Campaign Group, where Emmanuel Ogebe serves as a Legal Counselor launched an online fund raising under the slogan “Education Must Continue” to raise money for the rehabilitation, education and upkeep of the girls. They raised about $66,000; Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe got $11,331 of the said amount on 1stDecember 2014, for reimbursement of expenses related to the chibok girls. Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe may wish to recallthat even the Jubilee Campaign rejected his proposal to be the custodian of the funds raised on the grounds that it will fail transparency and financial reporting requirements of US laws regulating non-profit organizations. The fact that all these happened before the Honourable Minister was appointed does not in anyway change the truth. The facts are there to speak for themselves.

5.To further perpetrate his nefarious activities, he at some point posted a picture of a house on facebook and solicited for funds to enable him buy the house for the girls.

6.Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe never had the welfare of the girls at heart from the onset, he saw the vulnerability of the parents and their daughters as a means to quick wealth and this he demonstrated throughout the girls stay with him.

7.Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe was recruited as a volunteer with the Jubilee Campaign to coordinate the logistical arrangements associated with processing and securing Visas for the girls from Nigeria, but once the girls arrived US, he rose to the position of a guardian for the girls, so he could use them as merchandize for his personal aggrandizement.

8.The girls were fixed in schools in the USA that offered them full scholarship, but Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe illegally withdrew them from those schools and took them to schools with no boarding facilities, so that they can attend school from his house and that way he will be at liberty to move them from place to place for fund raising activities and media interviews.

9.The Mountain Mission School in Grundy, West Virginia has described Mr. Emmanuel as a deceptive and manipulative fellow who should be arrested and investigated. His efforts to use the girls for an interview with BBC crew were stopped by the President of the school, who used the police against him accusing him of using the girls as “Money Minting Machines”.

10.Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe should know that these girls are in constant touch with their parents and relatives via social networks such as Facebook, Skype, Messenger and Whatsapp. He of all people should know the world is now a global village and the parents, though in remote chibok village in Nigeria are abreast with developments around their daughters in the USA.

11.The initial arrangement between the Jubilee Campaign Group and the parents of the chibok girls was private until Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe the purpoted guardian of the girls merchandized them thereby drawing the parent’s and Government’s attention to the plight of the girls.

12.Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe may wish to note that a total number of 57girls escaped from the Boko Haram Terrorist Group in 2014, and the Federal Government in collaboration with the Borno State Government has successfully placed all these 57girls in schools around the country, except of course, the 15girls in the USA. So it is erroneous and misleading for a lawyer of Emmanuel Ogebe’s standing to claim that the Federal Government does not know the whereabout of the escaped chibok girls, when in effect it is responsible for the placement of these girls in various schools in the county.

13. At this juncture, it is pertinent to want to know why Emmanuel Ogebe is desperate about these girls, is it about his endless machinations to merchandize the girls? These girls have suffered enough emotional trauma and should be spared any more mental torture by unscrupulous elements such as Emmanuel Ogebe who have no respect for human life and dignity.

14.Nigerians may wish to know that as at now, there are 15 escaped chibok girls in the US. Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe took only 10 of them to the US with the consent of the parents. As at now because of his unscrupulous behavior, he has custody of only 3 of them. Five have been taken over by the Murtala Mohammed Foundation; two are in the custody of a white man in the US all with the parent’s consent while only three of them are still in the custody of Mr. Ogebe. Even those three, the parents at the meeting held with Government on the 8th of September 2016 pleaded with the Government to find other sincere and well meaning volunteers to take over their custody from Mr. Ogebe.

15.Government at all levels is doing its best to protect the rights of these girls and indeed all Nigerians as its statutory duty. The Government of President Buhari in April 2016 ordered a fresh investigation into the abduction of these schoolgirls. The Government has met with the parents of these girls on a number of occasions since assuming office, with the latest being the meeting on the 8thSeptember 2016. Each of these meetings encouraged theparents to stay focused and continue to keep faith while praying for the safe return of their daughters and Nigeriangirls. The Government has always assured them of having their best interest at heart while security agents are doing their best to see to the safe return of these girls.



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